Russians vote in presidential election across 11 time zones

Russians vote in presidential election across 11 time zones

Apart from Putin, the other seven contenders in the fray are: Sergei Baburin from the All-People's Union party; Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin; Civil Initiative party candidate Ksenia Sobchak; Communists of Russia party chairman Maxim Suraykin; Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov; co-founder of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky; and head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Navalny, who faces a 30-day jail sentence, had been expected to spend election day behind bars but remained free on Sunday.

"We actually have evidence, which we've collected over the past 10 years, that Russian Federation not only worked on the development of nerve agents for the objective of committing murder but also created and stored [the substance] "Novichok", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said to the BBC".

He warned that failure to cast a ballot would mean that "this decisive choice will be made without your opinion taken into account".

Opinion polls give Putin, the incumbent, support of around 70 per cent, or almost 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger. The last time he faced voters in 2012, he faced a serious opposition movement, but since then he has boosted his popularity thanks to Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria.

He has deployed more than 30,000 observers to monitor the polls and on Sunday, his team - which calls the vote "a staged procedure to re-appoint Putin" - began publishing a rolling list of violations from polling stations.

He said "they have been producing and stockpiling Novichok, contrary to what they have been saying".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he expects UK diplomats to be expelled from Russia

He, too, affirmed that if the Russian government is asked to run an investigation on the issue, the American government has to formally put in a request for it and that shouldn't come through media propaganda and speculations by members of the US Congress. Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to United Nations said at Security Council emergency meeting that Trump administration "stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain".

Sunday marks four years since Putin signed a treaty declaring Crimea to be a part of Russian Federation in a move that triggered the outbreak of a pro-Kremlin insurgency in east Ukraine, in a conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives. John Sipher, a former career Central Intelligence Agency officer who specialized in Russian Federation, said American evidence in this respect is damning.

"This is a standard way of manipulating information in the public space through a highly speculative message being introduced which cannot be proven".

Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Russia's fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, told The Associated Press that local officials and state employees have all received orders "from higher up" to make sure the presidential vote turnout is over 60%.

But the 65-year-old former KGB officer is certain to extend his term to 2024 despite a litany of domestic problems such as widespread poverty and poor healthcare following a lacklustre campaign. Some see Sobchak, the daughter of Putin's one-time patron, as a Kremlin project meant to add a democratic veneer to the vote and help split the ranks of Kremlin critics.

Alexei Navalny, who was touted as his fiercest opponent was barred from contesting the Presidential elections and was further suspended for five-years on the basis of embezzlement charges levied against him, as reported by The Guardian.

Orange Weather Alert now issued for Kilkenny and Carlow
The warning is in place for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare , Kilkenny, Laois, Louth , Wexford , Wicklow , Meath and Waterford . Dublin Bus issued a statement saying they wish to advise customers that have curtailments in place on some routes.

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